Glamorgan all-rounder Joe Cooke claimed the Newcomer prize at the 2021 PCA Futures Awards, supported by Lodders Solicitors, and received £2,000 to further his off-field aspirations.
The Newcomer award is reserved for players who have been in the professional game for two years or less.
Cooke has led the player voice on climate change, recently illustrated by his attendance at the historic COP26 conference in Glasgow where he spoke on multiple athlete panels.
Cooke has worked on a number of initiatives both through his role as sustainability champion at Glamorgan and in association with campaign group Friends of the Earth Cymru. The 24-year-old is hoping to use his Futures Award prize to begin setting up his own environmental consultancy business.
PCA Futures Awards Newcomer winner 2021, Joe Cooke, said: “It feels absolutely amazing to win. I never thought I would - I just applied to see what would happen, so it’s just incredible. It’s another reward for all the hard work I’ve put in, so thank you so much to both the PCA and Lodders for believing in me.
“I would 100% recommend other players to apply next year and beyond. It’s such an important part of cricket but also of becoming a more well-rounded person. The Futures Awards is like the icing on the cake of your personal development so it’s really important to encourage more players to get involved.”
Abi Sakande was the Overall winner at the 2021 PCA Futures Awards, while Vishal Tripathi claimed the Past Player award.
The Futures Awards, which are part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP), ask candidates to apply via an online form on the PCA website, before shortlisted candidates are invited to deliver a presentation followed by a question and answer session based around their personal development.
This year, the event was supported by PCA partner Lodders Solicitors LLP for the very first time with the aim to highlight some of the best examples of personal development amongst the PCA membership, and to help the winners build towards the future with assistance from their prize.
Lodders Managing Partner, Paul Mourton and Corporate Partner, Graham Spalding sat on the judging panel alongside the PCA’s Lead Personal Development Managers Charlie Mulraine and Lynsey Williams, and in addition all shortlisted candidates present at the law firm’s Cheltenham office received a 30-minute professional consultation from Lodders staff.